Mon. Oct 21st, 2019

Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli

Trippin' with Skhumba Celeste NtuliIf you’ve been following Trippin’ with Skhumba on Showmax, you’ll know that Thursday’s episode is a special treat. We spoke to Celeste Ntuli before the finale.

trippin with skhumba in conversation with celeste ntuli 1024x550 - Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli

371425ec dsc5725 e1553501473910 1200x644 - Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli

Throughout the season, Skhumba and his friends travelled all over the country, visiting famous comedians’ hometowns so we can learn more about our favourite celebs.

Trippin’ With Skhumba is coming to an end. Last week, the team went to Bloemfontein to meet Tumi Morake’s family. This week, the entire team will take to the stage in a stand-up comedy collaboration.

The finale episode was filmed back in March, and we had a chance to speak to three of the comedians, including Celeste Ntuli. During Celeste’s trip, the team travelled to her hometown of eMabuyeni.

We wanted to know more about Celeste Ntuli’s experience on Trippin’ With Skhumba, as well as her famous Instagram videos, and what the future holds.

Celeste said filming Skumba and going back to eMabuyeni was surreal. She explained:

“You know when you are trying to be someone, and trying to achieve things, you don’t get the chance to look back and understand what it is that you’ve achieved and how far you’ve gone. [Looking back,] I was really happy with myself.”

Favourite moment on Trippin’ With Skhumba

It’s always hard to pick one favourite moment, but hers had to be her mother’s segment on the show. Celeste said she got a sense of how her parents feel by listening to her mother’s praise. She said:

“For me, that was very special. Understanding that as much as I’ve grown, I haven’t changed as much. I’m still true to myself. And with this business, it’s difficult to keep that. To hear from a parent that she still regards me and still sees that young girl. Not that I don’t want to grow, but the criticals of who I am are still intact. ”

167fa4ef tsa 1200x858 65 - Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli
Trippin’ With Skhuma’s premieres Thursday evening on Showmax. Image supplied: Showmax/Justin Dingwall

Celeste Ntuli’s advice for aspiring comedians

And while we enjoyed tripping with Skhumba all over the country, the show also has an important message for youngsters who have dreams of getting up on stage. For all the aspiring girl comedians, Celeste has the following words of encouragement:

“I feel like it’s our time. There’s no debate. Women have to give their input in a man’s world. I feel like for women who want to do comedy, it’s such a freeing space because we have a lot to say. We have stories to tell. No one has had it as bad as us.”

However, women are still held back in some instances. But we need to push through. Celeste explains:

“It plays on our emotional intelligence and our emotional wellbeing; that we can’t bask in and marvel at our own success. And we need to.”

On stage stand-up versus cameras rolling

We asked Celeste which scenario was more stressful: being on stage in front of an audience, or working on a reality show with the cameras rolling.

6a4a5c18 dsc5416 - Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli
Celeste Ntuli on stage during the filming of final episode of Trippin’ With Skhumba. Photo: Showmax

Celeste has the advantage of being an actress with years of experience behindher. She felt comfortable behind the cameras and said working on a reality show didn’t take anything away from her.

“I love the spontaneity of the whole thing and to think and just literally thinking on your feet. It’s such a great space for your mind.”

Promoting local content

As for Showmax going all out to boost young South African artists, Celeste said representation is vital. She said that for years, no one believed that vernac comedy would sell. She adds:

“It took us years to get a proper platform. […] We listen to people who do not live the culture, who do not understand the culture, who are not the culture, to dictate how we should share the culture. And now, it’s a beautiful thing that most vernac comedians are given a platform. It’s so important that Showmax is in line to buy local content. They’ll be investing in the future.”

Sharing our stories online also brings people together and helps people understand each other. She explains:

“We can find a community of people who understand their blackness, their culture and where they come from more than you, so you can learn. […] Looking at [Tripping with Skhumba,] it has never been done this way for vernac comedy where it’s all 100% top notch quality production.”

If she had to write a two-sentence review of Tripping with Skhumba, it would be: “It was the most amazing, funny, surreal and great way to be reminded where we come from and reminding us of our success.

feb831bc dsc4357 - Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli
Backstage selfies. Photo: Showmax

Gym sessions and being a ‘big girl’s activist’

Celeste famously shares her gym sessions on Instagram. Starting out, she felt that some might assume she’s “selling out” on the big girl image. But she’s come to realise that it wasn’t the case. She explains:

“I felt like people loved me and understood me for my weight and I by default became a big woman’s activist. Will they think I’m changing or adapting to the norm or selling out to the big girls’ image? I think not. I think sometimes with our weight and our bodies, we get stuck. But if you’ve figured out your style, it doesn’t take anything away from you if you the lose the weight.”

She says the comfort zone is often times the most painful place to be in. For anyone who wants to make changes to their life and body, Celeste says just “go for it,” but don’t be discouraged by the inability to be perfect:

“It starts at any stage, at any age, at any size. Because the thing is, you can’t start from perfection. I look at my videos, and I realise I used to run at six-speed on the treadmill and I’d be dying. Now I can run at nine-speed.

She cautions against comparing your progress to someone else’s pace. Instead, find the people who will benefit from your journey, the people you can inspire because one person can be “sitting on information that will benefit others.”

“It’s my progress. I might not be Caster Semenya, but I was not planning to be. And you have your people. You will not be motivating the skinny zeroes and the vegans out there. But you’ll be motivating the Celeste’s, the you’s, everybody who is out there and unsure of how to start. There as so many who will relate to your journey. Forget about the ones who are getting it right.”

57eaa1a8 copy of copy of copy of tsa cover image 1200x858 10 - Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli
Image via Instagram: @celestentuli

Read – Eight must-see series on Showmax this April

What does the future hold for Celeste Ntuli

Going global. Celeste says she’s been abroad in the past, but not as often as she would have liked. Going forward, her focus will be going on international shows.

As for a reality show, Celeste says she’s been asked a few times to do one: “I think I was asked four times.” She’s not interested in doing “a day in the life of” type of shows.

“I’ll rather do something along work-related views, like ‘Celeste goes overseas to do the club gigs, yeah follow me with your camera.’ Something to enhance what I’m doing and what I’ve built already, rather than just getting people to watch me eating an apple.”

Don’t miss the last episode of Trippin’ with Skhumba this Thursday, 11 April, on Showmax.

177990c1 untitled design 5 - Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Celeste Ntuli
Image supplied: Showmax/Justin Dingwall

Read – Trippin’ With Skhumba: What you need to know about Celeste Ntuli

Read – Trippin’ With Skhumba: Get ready for Showmax’s first Original travel show

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *